Chosen by the Sunday Times (London) as one of its 99 Best Books for Children
The people of remote Inishrone, a few miles off the Connemara coast, know better than to go to the Island of Horses. Everyone has heard tales of men who have gone there and never come back. Yet one day young Pat Conroy and his friend Danny MacDonagh head off anyway, telling their parents that they are fishing for eels. On the island they find no ghosts but many mysteries, including a beautiful—and tame—black colt. But when they return home, with the colt in tow, they find themselves launched into a world of trouble. Before their adventure is over, the boys must brave rough seas and the murderous duplicity of a conniving horse trader, with only the advice of Pat’s frail grandmother and their own good sense to guide them.
A loving, clear-eyed portrait of rural Irish life, The Island of Horses is fraught with suspense and peopled with unforgettable individuals.
Eilís Dillon weaves a magic Irish spell and an A-1 mystery-adventure story, taut with action and suspense…The tale sparkles with the atmosphere of the sea and of small-town life.
— The New York Times Book Review
A very good story about two boys who set out to explore a deserted island off the Connemara coast, and about the adventures that follow. The people are real, the Irish background rings true, and there is a hard, spare poetry in the telling of the story.
— The Guardian